The bad blood between war veterans aligned to embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF youths linked to the Midlands godfather’s ruling party enemies, the Generation 40 (G40) group, is getting worse by the day.
Consumed by factional interests and miffed by what they see as a condescending view towards them by the country’s former freedom fighters, Zanu PF youths associated with the influential G40 faction bluntly told the war veterans leadership yesterday to “shut up” as the former liberation movement’s succession wars continue to escalate.
This came after a faction of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) linked to Mnangagwa suggested earlier this week that the youths’ planned one million-man march next month was threatening to become a monumental disaster because they allegedly lacked the stamina to organise such a massive event.
In addition, there had also been earlier claims by the youths that some war veterans and senior Zanu PF officials were working frantically to scuttle the march, fearing that this would be used to ratchet up the current pressure that is being exerted inside the party on Mnangagwa and his close allies.
Party deputy secretary for the youth, Kudzai Chipanga — while at pains not to appear disrespectful of the war veterans yesterday — told the Daily News that the former freedom fighters should “shut up” if they had nothing constructive to contribute to the march, which the youths claim is to show solidarity with President Robert Mugabe.
“We will not wait for the so-called ideological lessons (from war veterans) while the party, the president and the country are under threat.
“We cannot afford to disengage from the battle-field so that we go to school because by the time we are back from school the country will be gone yet it is in the interest of Zanu PF youths and the country at large to see the president rule until death do us part,” he said.
Chipanga added that their planned May demonstration was part of their “war in defence” of Mugabe and the party “against foreign and internal enemies, seeing that we now have more opposition parties than ever before”.
“Moreover, we have seen some of us selling out the revolution. We also saw what happened with the likes of (former Vice President Joice) Mujuru, Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa.
“We cannot afford to fold our arms under those circumstances saying we are waiting for (Victor) Matemadanda’s lectures.
“If war veterans have anything new to teach us that is not enshrined in our Constitution, then they are welcome because they brought the freedom we have now, including the freedom to march, but they should use the proper channels, so that the Zanu PF central committee can consider including them in the Constitution,” he said.
Chipanga’s stinging rebuke came after suggestions by Matemadanda that the youth league’s planned march was being organised secretly and that the G40-aligned youths had allegedly failed to mobilise effectively for the event.
“That is why some people think that this is a factional thing because if it is supposed to be a State occasion, it must be told to people who should help in time through proper communication channels and not to tell a person what they must do at a rally or try to character assassinate,” Matemadanda told State media on Monday.
But Chipanga scoffed at the suggestion, saying Matemadanda should “shut up unless he has just been blessed with the gift of prophecy to predict that we have failed to mobilise even before the event”.
“We have since directed our provinces to report any problems they may face to us so that we can engage those involved in sabotaging the event because we want all stakeholders including the women’s league and even the war veterans to be part and parcel of the march.
“We are well on course in terms of our mobilisation and I think Matemadanda should be someone who has just received a new (prophetic) blessing,” Chipanga added sarcastically. daily news